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Writing Someone Else: A Persona Poem Workshop with Gretchen Primack via Zoom

May 21, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Our poems can’t help but involve our own stances and frames of reference. But that doesn’t mean we can’t write with outward focus and empathy. And we can jump into someone else’s skin a lot easier when we make persona poems, poems in the voice of another. Writing from another perspective–including other species’ perspectives–can bridge divides, as well as dissolve self-absorption and loosen ruts. This workshop will share the ins and outs of writing someone else, whether that’s a pop star, a chicken, an imaginary friend, or a bottle of pills. We’ll read and write, and we’ll discuss issues around writing responsibly, including being sensitive to the line between empathy and exploitation.

NB: This class will be taught on Zoom and will be capped at 15 students. Registrants will receive the Zoom link to the email address they use to register. It will arrive immediately after registration so please check your spam folder if you do not receive it. It will also be sent the day before class as a reminder. Please review the course policies page before registering for any classes. Scholarship information will be available for this class in November.

Gretchen Primack is the author of Kind, republished by Lantern Books in March 2021, which explores the dynamic between humans and (other) animals; Visiting Days (Willow Books 2019), set in a maximum-security men’s prison; and Doris’s Red Spaces (Mayapple Press). Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, FIELD, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and many other journals and anthologies.

Primack has administrated and taught with education programs in prison and jail for many years and moonlights at an indie bookstore in Woodstock, NY. She co-wrote, with Jenny Brown, The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals (Penguin Avery). Her website is www.gretchenprimack.com.


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May 21, 2022
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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